Brown exudes confidence as Hyderabad's injury concerns ease up

Hyderabad FC will be on the road to face Chennaiyin FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Monday. They managed just a single win in four matches in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 before the international break and are currently placed ninth in the points table. But, in all fairness, the squad was severely handicapped due to multiple injuries to key players.

The international break seemed to have come at the right time for the Hero ISL newcomers, with the pause allowing the team to recuperate and get their players fit. At the pre-match press conference, Hyderabad head coach Phil Brown expanded on the matter and said, “The biggest challenge for all of us was in the treatment room. We had nine players who were injured. Around five-six of them would be starters in my team at the start of the season. That lack of quality available on the pitch was probably why we won just one game as opposed to maybe two or even three.”

“The players went back to their homes during the break for a week. As they came back, we have slowly emptied the treatment room. We have only Adil Khan who was injured during the international break, which is a disappointment for us. But after a very long time, the confidence of the players is at an all-time high. All the players have been working hard on the training ground, fighting for a place in the starting XI against Chennaiyin,” he added.

Asked if Brazilian striker and former A-League Golden Boot winner Bobo may be in line for his first start in the Hero ISL, Brown revealed, “For the first time since I started coaching in India, I have 24 or the 25 players available to me. Six of the seven foreign players are available to me, but Bobo has been out for a while. I have to be careful. He hasn’t played too much football. I must make the calculated decision of whether to start him or will he play from the bench. The same applies for Giles (Barnes). Starting both together will be a dangerous thing to do. It is a decision I must make. We will see if I made the right decision from the end product of our game. In football, there is a positive and negative end. We are heading towards the positive end. Now that I have all the players back and fighting for their place, that is the best position a coach can be in.”

The Englishman then reiterated the importance of a positive result against Chennaiyin and said, “We have two games in quick succession but the first one against Chennaiyin is more important. They are in a similar kind of situation like us this season. Under John Gregory, they won the title two seasons back and now he is like a caged and wounded animal. He is not getting the rewards for the work that they are putting in. They are losing games. I know him very well. He will bang his head against the wall to get an answer. That is the hard part about coaching and management.”

Joining the 60-year-old head coach was defender Matthew Kilgallon, who was excited for the upcoming challenge. “I think we have played well, we have trained well, we have to go out there and win. The international break came at a good time for us. We have worked hard. We will keep working hard on the training field. I’m really looking forward to the game.”

Read the Match Preview here.

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